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Previous SFF Author: Joanne Harris

SFF Author: Harry Harrison

Harry Harrison(1925-2012)
Harry Harrison was born in Connecticut and has lived in Mexico, England, Ireland, Denmark, and Italy. He served as a mechanic and gunnery instructor in the U.S. Army during World War II. Many of his early stories appeared in John W. Campbell’s Astounding, often reflecting his interest in environmental issues and non-violent resolutions to conflict. He and his wife (who died of cancer in 2002) have two children. Mr. Harrison lived in Ireland until his death on August 15, 2012. Here’s Harry Harrison’s website.



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Deathworld: Standard 1960s SF

Deathworld by Harry Harrison

Bored by life, Jason dinAlt is a gambling man, so when a mysterious stranger offers him millions of dollars to gamble with at a government-owned casino, Jason can’t resist, even though failure will probably result in his death. (It helps that Jason has some psi talents, even though they’re a little unpredictable.) After the casino episode, Jason finds that he must quickly depart the planet. When he learns that his mysterious benefactor is an ambassador of the most dangerous planet on the universe, he decides he’d like to go for a visit.


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Deathworld 2: The Ethical Engineer

Deathworld 2: The Ethical Engineer by Harry Harrison

Deathworld 2: The Ethical Engineer is the second of Harry Harrison’s novels set on Pyrrus, the planet that tries to kill most humans who set foot upon it. In the first DEATHWORLD novel, space rogue Jason dinAlt discovered the secret of Pyrrus and negotiated a very tense peace between the planet and its two human colonies.

Now Jason has a new problem. A man named Mikah, who represents the religious Truth Party, has arrived to arrest Jason for fleecing casinos across the universe.


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The Stainless Steel Rat: Tons of fun!

The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison

Listen to the beginning of The Stainless Steel Rat here.

At a certain stage, the realization strikes through that one must either live outside of society’s bonds or die of absolute boredom. There is no future or freedom in the circumscribed life and the only other life is complete rejection of the rules. There is no longer room for the soldier of fortune or the gentleman adventurer who can live both within and outside of society.


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The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge: Definitely a series to read on audio!

The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge by Harry Harrison

Listen to the beginning of The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge here.

Warning: Don’t read this review if you haven’t read the first Stainless Steel Rat novel.

Several nights ago I was in a bad mood. I had asked my husband to pick up M&M’s while he was at the grocery store because my daughter needed them for a school party the next morning. Due to a bad cell phone connection, he came home with the wrong thing and I didn’t discover this until 11 pm,


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The Stainless Steel Rat Saves The World: Fabulous narration

The Stainless Steel Rat Saves The World by Harry Harrison

Listen to the beginning of The Stainless Steel Rat Saves The World here.

Slippery Jim DiGriz is back. Back in time, that is. The evil villain who calls himself “He” has been using time travel to try to rid the world of the Special Corp (including Jim and Angelina) by eliminating them before they were even born. As his world is quickly fading in front of his eyes, Jim jumps back to a planet called “Dirt” (that’s Earth) in their year 1975 so he can kill He before He can work His evil plan.


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The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You: It seems fairly simple to save the world

The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You by Harry Harrison

I’ve been enjoying Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat series, especially the superb audio versions produced by Brilliance Audio. Slippery Jim DiGriz is a con artist who’s been forced to work undercover for the Special Corps, an intergalactic investigating agency. Each of these short novels starts with him (and now his family, too) hiding out from the Special Corps and living it up on other taxpayers’ money. Each time, the Special Corps traps him and sends him off on a fast-paced,


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The Stainless Steel Rat for President: Fascist dictators, watch out!

The Stainless Steel Rat for President by Harry Harrison

Fascist dictators, watch out — Slippery Jim diGriz is on the planet, and he’ll stop at nothing to secure freedom, peace, and representation for the people. Even if he has to lie, cheat, steal, and stuff ballot boxes to do it.

Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat series is lots of fun and you can’t help but love con-man Slippery Jim, his sadistic wife Angelina, and their twin sons James and Bolivar who are, for better or worse,


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A Stainless Steel Rat is Born: Entertaining prequel

 Stainless Steel Rat is Born by Harry Harrison

A Stainless Steel Rat is Born is a prequel to the Stainless Steel Rat series. Jimmy Bolivar diGriz is a smart and ambitious 17-year-old who feels trapped and inhibited on the backward planet of Bit O’ Heaven where his parents are porcuswine farmers. Jim learned early in life that he was clever and unscrupulous enough to take what he wanted from others and, more than anything, he enjoyed planning and carrying out these little escapades.


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The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted: More agenda than entertainment

The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted by Harry Harrison

This seventh novel in Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat series is actually the sequel to the prequel A Stainless Steel Rat Is Born. Young Jim DiGriz is alone, back in prison, and out for revenge. After he escapes and is tracking his nemesis, he gets captured and drafted into the military.

At this point, The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted (1987) turns into anti-military propaganda that doesn’t even try to be circumspect.


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Planet of the Damned: Cheesy, pulpy, boring

Planet of the Damned by Harry Harrison

Brion Brandd has just become the champion of his planet by defeating all the other contestants in “The Twenties.” Many men train all their lives for a chance to be the winner and Brion is ready to savor his victory. But not so fast! When a former winner challenges Brion to do something truly meaningful and heroic with his life, Brion sets off to save the planet Dis from a war that will surely destroy the entire planet. Dis has a hostile environment that nearly kills Brion before he even gets to meet the natives.


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Bill, the Galactic Hero: Very amusing

Bill, the Galactic Hero by Harry Harrison

I once met a woman in a bookstore who was in the process of buying Harry Harrison’s 1965 classic Bill, the Galactic Hero. She told me that she’d read it many times already, and that it was the funniest book ever. Well, I’ve never forgotten that conversation, and had long been meaning to ascertain whether or not this woman was right. It took me almost 20 years to get around to this book, but having just finished Bill,


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The Penguin Science Fiction Omnibus: An all-star lineup

The Penguin Science Fiction Omnibus edited by Brian W. Aldiss

The Penguin Science Fiction Omnibus (1973) is a compilation of three short story anthologies: Penguin Science Fiction (1961), More Penguin Science Fiction (1963), and Yet More Penguin Science Fiction (1964), all edited by Brian Aldiss. Presenting an all-star lineup of established Silver Age and burgeoning New Age writers, most all are well known names in the field, including Isaac Asimov


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The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories: Humane science fiction

The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories edited by Tom Shippey

I read Tom Shippey‘s other excellent collection, The Oxford Book of Fantasy Stories some time ago, so it was only a matter of time before I sought out this one. Like its stablemate, The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories consists of a chronological collection of stories from a variety of authors with an introduction by the editor. I was struck by the idea of “fabril” literature, which is discussed in the introduction: a form of literature in which the “smith”


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Science Fiction Super Pack #1: A generally above-average anthology

Science Fiction Super Pack #1 edited by Warren Lapine

Like the companion fantasy volume, Science Fiction Super Pack #1, edited by Warren Lapine, only has one story I didn’t think was good, and it’s a piece of Lovecraft fanfiction. H.P. Lovecraft‘s overwrought prose doesn’t do much for me even when Lovecraft himself writes it, and much less so when it’s attempted by imitators. And Lovecraft’s stories at least have something frightening that happens in them; these two stories (in this volume and the other) only have visions of aspects of the Mythos and crazy people ranting,


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Next SFF Author: Kim Harrison
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